I trained as a laughter yoga teacher in 2011 (recently refreshing my training in 2020) with United Mind.
Laughter yoga was developed by Dr Madan Kataria in 1995. Dr Kataria is a GP and was practicing in Mumbai, India at the time of Laughter Yoga's conception. He drew upon his research on laughter and its numerous physiological benefits and set up laughter sessions in his local park. This was then further developed and has became a worldwide phenomenon.
Laughter yoga is not comedy - it does not involve humour or jokes; instead utilising mindfulness, yogic breathing and set laughter exercises.
Laughter yoga has been shown to offer a low-impact cardiovascular exercise and sessions are ran with people of all ages and abilities.
Regarding you as the expectant parent or new parent - why am I suggesting you join a laughter yoga session with me?
There have been a number of studies complete in relation to the benefits of laughter on both the mother and baby in utero and following birth.
Engaging in extensive laughter may support with fertility, particularly for IVF parents regarding with one study which showed that 36% of mothers in the experimental group receiving clown therapy became pregnant in comparison to the 20% of women becoming pregnant in the clown-free control group. Of course, this was just one small study and much more research is needed, but it does look promising that laughter may make a significant difference.
Laughter may reduce risk of depression during pregnancy and other mental illness.
The immunity of the mother is lowered during pregnancy and is at higher risk of external microbes or germs causing complications, which also put the mother at risk of a premature birth being triggered. Laughter however has been shown to strengthen our immune system as it raises DHEA hormone levels.
Baby's tend to get more active and their development improves when their mother is in a cheerful and positive mood.
Babies often start to hear voices and sounds from outside the womb from 20 weeks and baby's can even remember the sounds that they have heard in the womb. As such, engaging in regular laughter is a lovely bonding exercise with baby.
Engaging in extensive laughter also releases a cocktail of positive hormones into our bodies, including givin a great big dose of oxytocin and endorphins. Oxytocin and endorphins are essential for a positive and smooth birth experience. Following your baby's birth, these hormones help with bonding, mental wellbeing and with milk production if breastfeeding.
Laughter yoga is such an easy and enjoyable exercise to engage in please do join me in a live laughter yoga session on Zoom either as part of a group session or by making a private booking for 1:1 support.